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Memory, Youth, Political Legacy And Civic Engagement.
This project is funded by the European Union under the Seventh Framework Programme


Pussy protest

From the very beginning the mood of protest in Russia has attracted young people who don’t quite fit into the standard definition of ‘the middle class’. In the press, this generation has already been labelled the ‘creative class’. It is a relatively large stratum (especially in Moscow) of well-paid office workers  whose professional sphere might be considered a new culture of creative individualism. Creators of advertisements, marketing strategists, artists, musicians, journalists and representatives of other ‘creative’ professions joined the demonstrators on Bolotnaia Square and Sakharov Square in December 2011.

On 20th January, eight girls from the punk group ‘Pussy Riot’, dressed in masks and brightly coloured tights, climbed over the security fence of Lobnoe mesto , raised a ladder and climbed up onto the three-meter parapet. They threw off their jackets, got out electric guitars and sang: ‘An insurrectionary column is heading to the Kremlin, the windows of FSB offices are being blown out. The bitches are pissing behind the red walls. Declaring riot, the abortion of the system...’ and, then, ‘Riot in Russia – the charisma of protest, riot in Russia – Putin ‘s afraid’. A photo report and the lyrics of the song were uploaded to the group’s blog .

Lobnoe mesto is an historical monument from the era of Ivan the Terrible, situated on Red Square. It was the site of public executions (beheadings) from which its name is derived. (lob in Russian means forehead).

Elena Omel’chenko and Nastya Min’kova, Centre for Youth Research, Higher School of Economics (St Petersburg)
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